KIDNAP3  5' Pirates kidnap the princess, detective finds her

Once upon a time a long time ago in a land far, far away,
Michaela, the world's greatest detective, was asleep.

"Michaela, wake up! Wake up!" whispered her mother.

Michaela replied, "I heard thunder. Is it raining?"

"That wasn't thunder, dear," replied her mother, "That was the
kings horses. He needs you again."

Michaela sat up and rubbed her eyes.

"What's happening?" she asked.

"The princess has been kidnapped again." replied her mother.

When Michaela got to the royal palace she asked to see the place
the princess was last seen. The king took her to the princess'
bedroom. The bed had been slept in but there was nothing else
out of place... except for a book that was lying open on the
floor. Michaela knelt to examine it.

"Has anyone touched this book?" asked Michaela.

"No no! I made sure of that!" replied the king.

Michaela made note of the pages that were open. She made note of
the page numbers. Then, she examined the rest of the book.

"The princess left us a clue to follow." explained Michaela.

"What do you mean?" asked the king.

"Where did the princess get this book?" asked Michaela.

"She borrowed it a couple of days ago from the library at the
monastery." replied the king.

Michaela explained, "It's quite likely that she left this book
on the floor to tell us that the kidnappers were dressed as
monks from the monastery."

The king replied, "That would explain why noone saw any
strangers in the palace last night. We have monks from the
monastery visiting us all the time. But where do you suppose
they've taken my daughter?"

Michaela replied, "Well, if they got into the palace dressed as
monks, they probably stole the monks robes from the monastery.
If that's the case, it's quite likely that they've taken her
there until you pay the ransom."

Michaela took the book with her and she rode at full speed with
the king to the monastery. When they arrived, they found several
monks tied and gagged. They were all stripped of their robes.
The king asked the monks if they saw the princess. They pointed
toward the wine cellar.

When Michaela searched the wine cellar, she found roped still
tied around a wooden column.

Michaela explained, "It looks like the princess wiggled out of
the ropes and got away."

"Search the monastery!" shouted the king.

"Don't bother," replied Michaela, "I think I know where she

Michaela ran up to the library. But the princess was not there.
She showed the book to a monk and asked where the book had been
borrowed from. He showed her a space between two books on a
shelf. Michaela removed the books on either side and examined
them thoroughly. She turned to the same page number as the
borrowed book. On that page of one of the books, were marks that
looked like they were made by a fingernail. Michaela pointed at
the marks.

Michaela explain, "See these marks here? It looks like the
princess was marking certain letters all over the page. Maybe
the letters spell out a word. M. I. L. L. Mill. Your Majesty, is
there a flour mill around here?"

"Yes," replied the king, "There's a flour mill and bakery down
in the valley."

"Quickly!" shouted Michaela as she ran to the royal coach, "She
might still be hiding there!"

When they arrived at the flour mill, the princess was gone. But
because the floor was covered with a light coating of flour from
the mill, Michaela could see drag marks running across the

"She was here, alright!" exclaimed Michaela as she pointed, "It
looks like the kidnappers found her and dragged her away."

"But where to?" asked the king.

Michaela followed the drag marks in the flour to see where they
started. They led to a corner behind a large wooden box. She had
the kings men move the box so she could examine the floor behind

"There!" exclaimed Michaela as she pointed to some finger
smudges in the flour, "The princess was hiding there until they
found her. She left us another clue! See the finger marks on the

"It's just an "O" and an "X". What does that tell us?" asked the

Michaela replied, "That's not an 'O' and an 'X'. Remember?"

The king exclaimed, "Yes, yes of course! That circle represents
a human skull and the "X" represents the cross-bones. It's a
pirate's flag."

He shouted, "Quickly, men! To the harbor! Our kidnappers are

By the time the king's men arrived at the harbor, the pirate
ship had already set sails.

"To the royal yacht!" shouted the king.

The royal yacht was the fastest ship on the sea. Soon they
overtook the pirate ship. When they came alongside the pirate
ship, swordsmen swung on ropes across to the pirate ship. They
conquered the pirates and rescued the princess, thanks to the
great detective work of Michaela, the world's greatest

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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